The Utah commissioner of apprenticeship programs announced the launch of the state’s first comprehensive apprenticeship website — apprenticeship.utah.gov.
“As businesses struggle to hire enough workers, and as many Utahns are striving to earn a living wage, there is no better time to consider apprenticeships,” said Melisa Stark, commissioner of apprenticeship programs. “Employers can hire employees to start right away and learn on the job, and workers can get paid to train for a lucrative career.”
On the local level, according to Christina Davis, Communications director for Workforce Services, Moab contractor A&E Electric has a local apprenticeship program.
Also, several programs train through the Utah Valley University Extension in Price, including Bodec Electric, Electrical Contractors, Birch Electric and Intermountain Electronics.
Apprenticeships are industry-driven, high-quality career pathways that are beneficial to both businesses and workers. Workers get paid, on-the-job and related training, job security and portable credentials, certificates or degrees.
Employers prepare their future workforce while reducing costs for recruitment, enjoying a 94% retention rate.
“Apprenticeships are an under-utilized pathway to a great, in-demand career,” said state Rep. Mike Winder, R-West Valley, who sponsored the state legislation that created the new commissioner role. “A four-year degree is not the only way.”
The announcement occurred at a downtown construction site on the corner of 500 South and 300 West in Salt Lake City called Post House, where apprentices work side-by-side with more experienced mentors to learn their trade.
“It’s no secret that the workforce is stretched, and finding qualified, skilled tradespeople has become ever increasingly challenging,” said Shaun Orr, vice-president of human resources at Big-D Construction. “Apprenticeship programs fill a critical role in attracting and retaining talent so we can continue to build the places where we live, work and play.”
While traditionally found in industries such as construction, utilities and trades, apprenticeships are expanding to industries such as healthcare and information technology. Utah has more than 4,200 apprentices and 265 registered apprenticeship programs in dozens of industries.
Apprentices who complete their programs earn more over their career than non-apprentice participants, and upon completion earn an average of $60,000 annually.
Employers, educators, parents and future apprentices can learn more at apprenticeship.utah.gov.
Doug McMurdo contributed to this report.